Fuel the machine

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 12:59 PM

Regardless of how dedicated you are to aerial fitness: a once in a while-fun as a hobby- participant or a die hard-can’t go less than twice a week without feigning-addict...you have to properly fuel your body.

An analogy I like to reference is your vehicle. Would you attempt to take off on a long journey without putting gas in your car? Or would you try to put just any liquid in the gas tank, hoping it will have the same ‘go power’ as regular, unleaded? NO. So why would you think your body can function, let alone perform, at the high level aerialists and other athletes require, with nothing in it?

The amount of information available about proper nutrition is mind boggling, so let’s focus on a few key points and easy things to remember:

Calorie Intake:

How many calories should you be taking in each day? It varies for each person, so use this easy formula to figure out whats best for YOU:

Women: Current Weight x 10

Men: Current Weight x 11

Then add for your daily physical activity level:

300 for Inactive

500 for Moderately Active

700 for Very Active

Water Intake:

How much water should you be drinking each day? The age old answer of 8 cups a day is not universal for everyone. As with calories, it varies. So use this easy formula to figure out what’s best for YOU:

Minimum Amount: 64 ounces per day

Ideal Amount: Current Weight divided by 2 = ounces per day

Very Hydrated (extreme athletic activity and/or elements): Current Weight divided by .6 = ounces per day

If losing a few pounds is something you are looking to do, one of the simplest ways to shed a few pounds is to simply change what you drink. ONLY drink water. That means no soda, no tea, nothing carbonated. One clear enemy of the body? Energy drinks! Energy drinks increase blood pressure, increase heart rate and dehydrate the body!

The Battle of Fats:

Don’t let the word ‘fats’ scare you away. If your body is a machine, fats are part of the make-up of fuel that it needs to keep going. But there are good guys and bad guys in the fat world...

Unsaturated Fats: These are the good guys, the best type of fat to fuel your body

Saturated Fats: These are the bad guys. These fats raise your blood pressure, raise your cholesterol and are found in the foods that are high in calories. Empty calories.

Trans Fats: If we look at fats as the good guys vs the bad guys, consider this: Trans Fats are a type of Saturated Fat. But Trans Fats are SO BAD that even Saturated Fats don’t like to be associated with them. They are their own category of lethal. Some countries and some areas of the US (New York, California etc) have restricted the amount or completely banned the use of Trans Fats in food establishments! Some trans fats are found in nature, animal fats mostly. But they are small, trace amounts. Like most villains, the majority of Trans Fats are created in a lab, they''re artificial.

The FDA allows TransFats in foods up to .5 grams PER SERVING while still being able to label it as zero trans fats. Look for the words ‘partially hydrogenated oil’. If a label or ingredients list has that, the evil TransFats guys are lingering in there somewhere.

Whether you’re an athlete, an aerialist or just reading this blog to pass the time; you’re human and you need to properly fuel your body. Besides helping you perform at peak levels, proper fuel can make you simply feel better. You can have more energy, feel happier, be sick less and improve your overall quality of life!